I finally found what it is that you were doing. It works indeed. Here is a something to be mindful of though.
Having changed a role name through the admin/language, if I edit the moodle.php language file from the language menu which is the one where the role text is saved, I keep seeing the role title I changed in admin/language menu.
In other words, one can change the names of roles from the language file in moodle/language/en_utf8 or es_utf8 or whatever language file and moodle menu will change accordingly, or use the admin/language file function. But changing the language file from the language directory after having changed the names using the admin/language interface doesn't make the change in the language directory.
Roles and permissions
role-names: How to change with different languages?
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